They Could Be Recording Your Conversations on the Phone
Sometimes even an initial phone call will be recorded as policy by the respondent insurance company. And, the reason is for a potential claim denial based on what was said even from the very beginning. Unless the respondent company is also the claimant’s insurance company, the claimant is dealing with a stranger. The first series of questions could be constructed in a way that is designed to trick admission of fault on some level, which is detrimental to the claimant under North Carolina contributory negligence law.
Your Claim Could Be More Valuable Than You Realize
The first component of a valid claim that the claims adjuster does want the claimant to know is that their claim could be very valuable when ongoing financial responsibility is present. This is why they want a full release of future medical coverage when making a quick settlement offer that is always well below the true value of the claim. While it is true that many company clients have extensive insurance, they can avoid divulging this information when the client accepts a quick offer that may sound reasonable. Rest assured, if they make a quick offer, it is because your claim is worth considerably more when long-term implications could result in a whole compensation award from a sympathetic jury.
Legal Representation Almost Always Results in a Larger Settlement
While a claims adjuster cannot state directly that a claimant does not need an attorney, they can still suggest so by saying “this is all the company is required to pay” and avoid discussion of any general damages for pain and suffering. What they want is to sweep the case under the rug and close it quickly. It is never a good decision to accept any first offer even when the adjuster says they have offered the limit. Consulting with a car accident lawyer should be the very next step before saying yes to the offer.
You Could Have a Bad Faith Claim Against the Insurer
Insurance companies commonly skirt the law when they investigate accident claims. This is standard policy for some without directly violating legal standards. Most claimants are not educated in insurance law in North Carolina. However, an accident lawyer is knowledgeable in all aspects of legal applications when claims are settled, and certain actions such as demanding excessive paperwork or multiple independent medical exams could be determined as bad faith. Even offering ridiculously low settlements or purposely delaying a claim to force a settlement acceptance could be bad faith as well. Bad faith claims are additional legal actions aimed directly against the company.
You May Need An Attorney Regardless
The real truth is that there are also accident cases that will require any claimant to retain legal counsel, especially when they were an involved driver. Fault is central to all North Carolina motor vehicle accident cases, and many drivers find themselves defending their driving actions when a case goes to trial at the request of other injured parties. Always consult with a North Carolina auto accident lawyer when being involved in a collision while driving.